Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 25km Virtual Run

Challenge Series 2:  110km of 125km

Whoa look at my milage count! I sure am pretty pleased about it.

In preparation for my first full marathon (that is creeping closer, closer, closer.. eek), I planned for a long run on last Monday. Set a target of 25km under 4 hours. We planned the run early on with my training partner, so we had the week to prepare and time to recover after Christmas festivities. 

This will be the longest training run for us, after which I plan on shorter runs and more kettlebell workouts leading up to the big day. This is also our longest run to date, having completed many half-marathons but never more. And to do it in a hamster wheel route of laps around the same park maybe madness, but I told myself I will, and I did.

So happens there was a virtual run challenge that came up right around the time I was planning the long run. Virtual I Run U Run had a Christmas 25km Virtual Run, that can be run as a cumulative total. I decided to take up the challenge and do it at one go. This will at least push make me push myself if I felt like quitting at 23km. 

Monday came around, and we got a wonderful weather. The day was cloudy and almost rained mid-run, and sun only came out nearly at the end. Me and my training partner plodded round and round the park for 4 hours. People came, people went. Families came, families went. On and on we plodded, round and round. 

I had loaded up my music choices beforehand. College favourites Coldplay, Avril Lavigne and Eminem helped me through the hours. I had forgotten how funny Eminem is - I must have look like a madman laughing and running in circles. 

We finished under the targeted 4hrs. In a race proper that would translate to better time I hope, with the energy from the crowd, better fueling (isotonic water stations!) and interesting scenery. And having completed the run with energy to spare, I'm confident we can finish the Full Marathon. I'll probbaly need to walk the last few kilometers - but I WILL cross the finish line strong.

Surprisingly I also felt less sore after this run compared to the last few half-marathons we did. I hope this means all the training has the body better prepared. I'm really really excited for January 15 now - can't wait for it! 16days 11hours away!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Challenge Kilometers

Challenge Series 2:  60km of 125km

This time around I set a goal that all my runs should be minimum 5km (no more 3km runs, I should be way past that stage in my training now!) I had a also targeted for longer weekend runs, but alas kept getting thwarted by the rainy weather, the recurring ashtma from the weather, and the(sigh) female problems at inapproriate times.

After 3 weekend long runs cut short by 'stuff', I'm changing strategy to building mileage on my treadmill instead. Since my treadmill is a medium grade one not really great for running long, I'll aim to do daily 5km stints to pile on mileage while not ruining my back from the treadmill non-absorber track. Added to more regular kettlebell workouts for core training, I hope I'm ready for Twincity Marathon, my first full marathon coming soon in...

... 31 days, 12 hours, 35 minutes! 

Challenge 2 running log, so far

Nov 17: 4km
Nov 20: 11km
Nov 24: 5km
Nov 25: 5km
Nov 27: 8km
Nov Total: 33km

Dec 1: 5km
Dec 3: 8km
Dec 4: 5km
Dec 10: 9km
Dec Total: 27km

Monday, December 5, 2016

Book : Run The World by Becky Wade

Challenge Series 2:  51km of 125km

This book is fully titled Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe.

Becky Wade is US college runner (which is a big thing, its a whole career by itself) who, unsure what to do after college ends, takes up a Watson Scholarship. The scholarship grants recipients money to spend one year traveling in pursuit of their projects. Becky is not only very talented in running, she really does love running A LOT, so that's her project - travel the world to experience other running cultures.

The book is interesting, because
  1. The subject itself is interesting. Yes, I would like to know how athletes of different nationalities and continents train, eat, think.
  2. Becky writes beautifully. It's easy to get caught in her narration and get lost in her excitement.
  3. Becky is really nice! She writes about all the things she experinces, but underneath all that Becky comes across as a genuinely nice person. I would love her to have her be my girlfriend!
I enjoyed following her through all the running cultures she experienced. 3,500 miles through UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Finland. Becky stayed with hosts throughout her journey, and followed them on their training run, while telling us about the running cultures specific to each country.

At the end of the book Becky runs a local marathon (and wins). There's a mile by mile play on what she is thinking in that race. I found this fascinating - long-distance running is always a mental game and I love the peek into what goes through an elite runner's mind.

I think I really enjoyed this book also because it's a girl experience. A guy with the same project will have a different experience - the places he stays, the people he meets, and the training runs he goes to will all be vastly different.

I do hope Becky will write another book. Something more on herself and her training.